"Not dad but son, When I was about 5 years old I was playing hide and seek with my mom and dad, Dad would pick a spot for me to hide and mom would come looking. Dad decided mom would never find me if he opened the window and put me out onto the roof of the balcony a floor below us (3 story apartment house)" (Source).
"When I was a kid, my dad would mow the lawn and then sneak up to the local dive bar and have a beer before my mom noticed he was done. I grew up in a town of roughly 1,200 people and the bar was two blocks away so it was totally feasible. My dad used to bring me with him, bribe my silence with a $1 bag of redskin peanuts and a can of Mountain Dew. My mom always knew because I'd slip up about the peanuts a day or two later. Fast forward to being 24. I'd just moved to a new state after grad school with my then-boyfriend's job, I was underemployed at the time and my only company was my new kitten. I didn't tell my parents but I think my dad always knew I was miserable. One day I got a package from home that was 1 lb of redskin peanuts. He tracked down the vendor from the bar and bought them in a bulk bag. Still warms my heart when I think about it three years later" (Source).
"At 16 my parents helped me get a car; the keys to freedom were: Per Dad: no tickets, pay my own gas and maintenance and Per Mom: home by curfew After a few close calls/negotiating a few extra minutes with upset Mom, Dad recommends I call him if I'm cutting it close. Really...? From then on, I'd call Dad, he'd tell Mom that he would wait up, aka fall asleep in the lazyboy. This was a 2 birds one stone deal. He got parenting cred from Mom (go on to bed, honey) and a good night's nap in the lazyboy until I drifted home. Miss you Dad" (Source).
"My wife or I will write notes and put them in our 9 year old son's lunch box most days. One day my wife's note was found by a boy named Max in my son's class and read aloud to his table. Needless to say my son came home quite embarrassed. Since I'm currently unemployed I went to have lunch with my son at school the next day. Towards the end of lunch, he points the boy out to me. We have always preached turning the other cheek, telling the teacher, etc, but something about this kid's face made all those teachings fly out of window. I told my son 'now listen, I'm going to tell you something you can say to him but you cannot tell your mother'. My son replies that he'll keep our secret so I give him a pretty mild burn and tell him to use it discretely. Fast forward to that evening and my wife is signing the daily conduct sheet upon which is written 'Your son came into the classroom after lunch and yelled to the entire class that Max's mother doesn't send him notes because she doesn't love him'. He didn't rat me out to the teacher but I fell on the sword for him at home" (Source).
"When I was ten years old my dad came to my school before noon and told the principal that I had a doctors appointment. I had no idea he was coming at all, and seeing him in my class was a bit of a shock. He then told my teacher I have to go to the doctors, and I was believing that I was actually going to the doctors. We ended up going to a baseball game for the whole afternoon. My mom was out of town for a couple of days and my dad told me to never tell her that he got me to play hookey from school" (Source).
"My mum went on a relaxing 'ladies only' holiday with her friends for two weeks when my brother and I were 5 and 8 respectively. Two hours after we waved goodbye to her at the airport my brother managed to drop an entire drawer on his foot and severe his entire little toe. The doctors weren't sure if they could save it but they succeeded. By the time mum got home my brother had a bandage around his toe and as far as he was concerned he'd just had an 'owie'. I don't think she found out until about ten years later when my brother said, 'hey remember when I almost lost my toe while mum was on holiday lol' -- that was a memorable family dinner to say the least" (Source).
"One night I was enjoying a small bit of ice cream after my four year old daughter went to bed. She came downstairs and 'caught' me. So I offered her a small bite, but since she was supposed to be in bed, I said 'don't tell mom'. She assured me she wouldn't. My wife wouldn't have cared anyway but it was a fun little game to play. After she went up to bed and I was down on the couch, she snuck in to the master bedroom where mom was resting. She told mom that I had let her have some ice cream, and she was afraid of 'sugar bugs' so could she please brush her teeth again. My wife just laughed at me the next day. Little sh-t ratted me out to brush her teeth, something she doesn't like doing anyway" (Source).
"I'm a dad, but this story is about my dad. It was the summer before my last year at college. A friend of mine got a job across country and he decided to take the opportunity to see as much of America as possible before he had to start work. He asked me to come along. It was going to be a month long road trip. We'd contacted a few friends and relatives along the way where we could crash, the company was paying for gas and 5 nights hotel, and we brought along a tent for the days we didn't have a place to stay. I'd saved up a little money at my summer job. The night before we left, my dad was sitting in his recliner reading the paper as always. I sat there on the couch watching TV. Now, my dad was a very conservative man. Old school. The kind of 'kids should be seen and not heard' parent. Not big on emotional displays. Frugal to a fault. So after everyone else had turned in for the night, it was just me and him. He motioned me over, and pulled out an envelope he had hidden. Looked at me over his reading glasses and said 'don't tell your mother about this' as he handed me the envelope. It was filled with money. Not a lot by today's standards but a lot in 1986 and without a doubt more money than I'd ever seen my dad carry. I sat down and said 'I don't know what to say'. He responded 'have fun' and went back to his newspaper. He died six months later. That moment was the last real one on one interaction I had with my father. A little while after he'd died, my mom was going through his dresser drawer when she found his stash. Apparently my dad had been squirreling away cash for years. Walking around money for when he went on one of his many fishing trips. He dipped into it so that I'd have some walking around money on my trip" (Source).
"For literally a year, my mom was under the impression that elementary classes ended at 5 instead of 3. Each day, my dad would pick me up from school at 3, which is at the water's edge, and take me two miles down to cross the river and play at a MASSIVE park for 2 hours. Then we'd go home and do normal family stuff like listen to mom and dad fight while I play some Spiderman 2 in the freedom of my room" (Source).
"Buying extra candy for Halloween. I was afraid my wife wouldn't pick up enough (she works at Costco) so I took my daughter to the store and told her we'd buy stuff we like that way we could eat it all year if we didn't use it but we had to hide it from my wife until Halloween. We have a 'no lying' rule so I told my daughter we'd tell her Mom AFTER she bought her candy at work in a few days.
When my wife got home from work that night my daughter immediately said 'Daddy, can I please tell Mommy about the candy?' right in front of my wife. I'll be honest, I'm just glad that my 8-year-old daughter is such a terrible liar" (Source).
"I was once a resourceful young lad and would ride bikes with a friend to the recycle center behind some stores. We would jump in the magazines bin and pull out all the playboys, hustlers, sports illustrated swimsuit edition, and well, anything with pictures of girls.
Sometimes we sold them to our middle school peers and as fate would have it, some kid ratted me out when he got caught with it. My mom launched an all out search for the pornos. She found somewhere near 200 (about 50% of the loot). They were all on the dining room table when I got home from school. Mom wouldn't even talk to me and just said 'wait until your father gets home'.
A couple hours later, I get yelled at by both parents, grounded for a month, no tv, no phone, no friends, etc. When I wouldn't give up the names of kids I sold to, I got an extra month of restrictions. The next night I found a playboy under my pillow with a post it note that said '200 is excessive, but so is 2 months restriction to your room. Here is 1. Hide it better and don't tell your mother'" (Source).
"My niece is like this. It's so funny. I was picking my Dad up for a posh evening do one night (her and her parents lived with my Dad) and she was telling me that it was just her and daddy at home that night so they weren't going to eat chocolate, watch a movie and stay up late. She was so earnest it was hilarious" (Source).
"When I was young, we had the typical parent dynamic of 1:1 strict/lenient ratio. Mom was laidback and figured we were allowed to find our own fun while my dad was more critical. However, both agreed on the 'no underage drinking' policy. So my brother, fresh out of Freshman year and with his typical 15 y.o. 'bro' egging him on, snuck tequila out of my parents' liquor cabinet and took about 5 shots each while my parents were sleeping upstairs. Almost immediate regret. Half an hour later, there's a cycle of being totally obliterated on the couch and worshiping the porcelain god. The whole while they're 'sneaking around' to not wake up my folks.
The next morning, my dad pulls my brother aside and asks what happened the night before. My brother tries to blow it off, but my dad just dead-eyes him and says 'That tequila made its way into the toilet somehow, I don't care if it was out one end or the other'.
Brother fesses up. My dad nods, slaps him on the arm, and says 'I think this is one lesson your mother doesn't need to hear about'" (Source).
"This happened in my junior year of high school. I was sitting at lunch one day I saw my dad walking through the quad, and it was very dumbfounding for me. He told me there was a family emergency and that we needed to go, so I said goodbye to all my friends and trudged behind him, trying to figure out what was going on. He said he'd tell me when we got home. We get home and he brings me over to the computer (which was alarming seeing as far as I knew he didn't know how to turn it on) and he asks, 'I need to print this page. How do you print?' So I reached down and hit ctrl+P, clicked OK, and out spat some little news blurb that was from a while ago. Then like it was just an ordinary thing to do he said, 'Alright, back you go'. WHAT?! I talked him out of letting me miss Algebra II class. He dropped me back off at school and I went into my last class of the day, which really confused my friends, as they all saw me walk off campus. I totally used missing algebra class as leverage to not tell mom. She would have been very upset that he came and took me out of school for an hour-ish when I could have done it for him just a couple hours later. It did mean a lot to him to have the news article though and 13 years later he still has it on his nightstand" (Source).
"Happened just last week. We do 'dates' with our kids about once a month, just for one-on-one time with each of them. I told my wife my son (he's 6) and I were going out for dinner and ice cream... We saw Dr. Strange instead. No regrets. The boy has maintained the secret" (Source).
"I'm at home, hanging out with my two year old daughter while mom is at work. I'm drinking a beer, and set it down for a second to go to the bathroom. My daughter is really smart for her age, and knows not to touch things that aren't hers, but I guess leaving the beer just out of reach made it too tempting to her. She grabs her chair, puts it under the dresser I had set it on, and climbs up and grabs my beer. I come back in the room just as she's taking a big Ole swig. She hated the taste and spit it out instantly, but will never tell my wife about that one. To this day my daughter refers to my beer as 'my icky'" (Source).
"Went fishing in questionable conditions. Left the harbor in 6-8 foot waves in a 19' boat. Probably shouldn't have gone out at all in retrospect. Had a great day off fishing in the lee of a point. Start to head home and things have deteriorated big time. Going home in 10-12' waves, with big ones hitting 14'. Struggling to even make it through them. All this is happening in late November in the north Atlantic. Bad f--king news if anything goes wrong. No one else is out there to help us. My dad tells me at one point 'Take your life jacket off. It won't help out here, it will just make the inevitable take longer. We make it home or we don't. I love you'. To this day, that's the only time I have been scared on a boat, and I have been in some serious situations. When we made it back he said 'never tell your mom what I told you. That is between you and I'. So yeah that's my craziest don't tell mom story. This happened off Montauk point in a ripping ebb (current going out quickly) so the if anything happened we would be a mile offshore within a few minutes. We were on the VHF with some friends on shore but the reality of the situation is that no one short of a helicopter will be fast enough to get there before you go hypothermic (water was in the mid 50's and air in the mid 40's). And even with a helicopter it would be highly unlikely that we get found in those waves. Last I'm not gonna stand up for being out there in those conditions, it wasn't smart, but to be fair we left in very acceptable conditions with a forecast saying the winds would be calming down. For us 6-8's are not outlandish at all, and I will go fishing any day of the week in that. And when we went out the breeze was going with the tide, so the waves were much longer. We fished underneath the cliffs at the point all day listening to NOAA still tell us the wind was dying. We didn't know it had picked up until we rounded the point to go home and realized not only had the breeze picked up but when the tide switched they were not going against each other so the waves were standing much more vertical. Oh forgot to add that yes my dad is a total bada--. He has been in conditions much worse than that, and understands the realities of being offshore. He's always taught me that you have to respect the ocean and once you don't, you're dead" (Source).
"My parents divorced and my mom remarried. When I was about 10, she became a bit of a holy roller. When I say 'a bit', I mean 'off the deep end'. For context, this was the mid-80's. Suddenly, cartoons were evil. I couldn't watch He-Man, Voltron, Richie Rich, Tom & Jerry. Nothing! She could see evil in anything. Smurfs taught homosexuality. He-Man taught witchcraft. Richie Rich taught greed. And so on... Magazines were evil too. I was at the age where driving was in sight, so I had various car magazines coming to the house. Not anymore! Why? Because the sexy bikini-laden car models taught 'hyper sexuality' and it would turn me into a rapist. Don't even get me started on video games either. I was only allowed to play religious video games and watch religious cartoons. Also, no TV in my room anymore because if I was left alone with a TV, I'd end up being influenced into being a gay, murdering, Satan-worshipping warlock! My dad and step-dad hated each other, but looking back, they both looked out for my best interests. They both thought my mother's religious stuff was a bit nuts, too. So, they had some common ground. As a side note, my step father must have a special place reserved in Heaven for him because he stuck with her through a decade of absolute hard-core religious fanaticism. She's much more reserved now. Anyway, on weekends, i'd see my dad. When I'd get there, he'd have a couple VHS tapes ready for me. All my favorite cartoons! He and I would spend half a day binge watching all that animated evil! And my car magazines were now being delivered to his house, so I got those too. My dad bought me a small tv for my room. It was a 13 inch camping TV. It was about the size of a milk crate. My room had a lot of angles in the walls and ceiling, so I had some good hiding spots. My mom went on a retreat and came back all gung-ho thinking I was on drugs because the evangelist said that any child who wasn't as interested in church as their parents is a child who's being influenced by the devil and most likely is on drugs. My step-dad said he'd search my room for the drugs. She and I stood and watched. He ended up finding the TV (which was in a box in a hidey-hole behind my bed), but he didn't tell her. He found my stash of Mad Magazines too (to her, those were '100% filth!'). He didn't tell her about those either. After saying my room was 'clean', she left. He walked out with a wink. When I came back from school the next day, my step dad had moved my bed and built me a 'fort' in the hidey-hole that had a little entertainment center built into the backside of my headboard. He also added two brand new gaming systems. It was cramped, but whenever my mom was off, he and I would gather around my tiny TV in the hidey-hole and play video games. Why hide? Because he wasn't allowed to play video games either and he didn't want to get caught either. Whenever she'd come in, we'd pull the cord on the entertainment center which dumped legos out and covered the tv and video game consoles. We'd tell her we were playing legos. She'd ask why we were in the tiny hidey-hole and he'd just be like, 'Forts are awesome, babe!' She thought we were nuts, but we got away with it. Cheers to all the dads who helped us get away with sh-t!" (Source).